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WASHINGTON— On Thursday, members of the Senate reintroduced the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The bill would restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) and prevent restrictive and discriminatory voting laws from taking effect. Ten years ago, in the disastrous Shelby County v. Holder decision, the Supreme Court gutted the VRA and paved the way for widespread voter suppression measures and practices in states today.

Without the VRA’s ‘preclearance’ provisions, we’ve witnessed an alarming rise in restrictive laws in states like Georgia, Florida, and Texas—laws that would likely have been blocked under the original VRA framework. Voters in almost 30 states will face restrictions in the 2024 election that they’ve never experienced in a presidential election before. These laws have erected substantial barriers for people of color, making it increasingly difficult for them to exercise their right to vote.

The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision, which significantly weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the reintroduction of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing struggle for racial justice at the ballot box. This legislation is vital for restoring the power of the original Act and preventing the implementation of the restrictive and discriminatory voting laws that have proliferated across the states, undermining the democratic process and disproportionately affecting communities of color.

Black people and communities of color deserve to have the ability to make their voices heard, access opportunities, and possess the power to influence their futures. The reality is that if these communities cannot fully participate, then our democracy will not work for any of us.

The call to Congress is straightforward—this bill is not about politics. Instead, it’s about taking legislative action to address a critical issue: ensuring everyone has unimpeded access to vote. Congress has the opportunity to rectify the injustices that have been allowed to fester for far too long. The time is now to reinforce the foundations of our democracy by making its promises real for all.”


About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit